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Texas Personal Injury News

Monday, October 29, 2018

Texas Dram Shop Laws Impact Personal Injury Lawsuits

What are Dram Shop Laws?

While state laws differ, the general premise of personal injury law holds that those who injure others through their negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or inactions are responsible for the victim’s damages. In a nutshell, if something you did (or failed to do) hurt someone else, you could be civilly sued for monetary damages.

Sometimes, in unique situations, one or more additional persons or entities-- which are a bit further removed from the incident between the victim and the person who injured them-- may also be held partially responsible for the victim’s injuries.

A common such scenario happens when someone who has been drinking to excess at a bar or tavern leaves intoxicated and thereafter causes an automobile accident that injures or kills someone else.

In Texas, Dram Shop laws hold that bars and taverns may share liability in cases where their employees serve alcohol to someone who is drunk or underage and that person subsequently drives drunk and hurts or kills someone else.

According to authorities, it was only 15 minutes after a "visibly intoxicated" woman left a Galveston-area bar and plowed down two pedestrians, killing one and injuring the other. Reportedly, bartenders at the establishment served alcohol to the woman who, when leaving the bar, appeared on surveillance video to be "showing signs of being highly intoxicated, losing her balance and spilling drinks". Authorities say her blood alcohol level several hours after the crash was .103 and she was charged with "intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter". Two bartenders were also reportedly criminally charged for allegedly serving the woman.

Should the victim who survived decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, they may be entitled to compensatory damages for such things as current and future medical expenses, current and future lost income or diminished earning capacity, and past and future mental anguish and physical pain if they can prove the defendants’ liability.

In addition, the closest surviving family members of the victim who died may be able to commence a wrongful death lawsuit if they are suffering financially as a result of the victim’s death. Computing damages in a wrongful death lawsuit can be complicated and differ on a case-by-case basis but generally are determined based on such factors as the age, health, earning ability, and parenting responsibilities of the victim at the time they died. In addition to damages for the victim’s final medical and funeral expenses, damages for such items as loss of support, services, or prospective inheritance may be awarded on a case-by-case basis.

If you or a loved one has been injured or a loved one has been killed as a result of someone else's actions, the personal injury attorneys at the Noland Law Firm can help maximize the compensation to which you may be entitled. While we can't undo the accident, we can help relieve the financial burden it has caused. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our office in Lufkin and Houston, Texas, we represent accident victims and their families throughout Texas as well as those injured while visiting Texas.

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Chandler, Mathis & Zivley, PC has offices located in Houston and Lufkin Texas and serves clients throughout East Texas as well as many other states.
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